WASHINGTON, Dec. 20, 2016 – Maryland Rep. Chris Van Hollen will take a seat on the Senate Agriculture Committee when the 115th Congress convenes in January.

In the House, the 57-year-old senator-elect has been representing Maryland’s wealthy 8th District along Washington D.C.’s northwest border since 2003. Van Hollen will be an addition to the Senate Ag Committee, cutting the GOP’s edge on the panel to 11-10.

Sen. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan, the ag committee’s ranking member, said she was excited that Van Hollen is joining the panel.

“Chris has been a champion for the diverse needs of his state, including efforts to clean up the Chesapeake Bay as part of the Farm Bill,” she said. “As we look ahead to a new Congress, I know we will have a strong team assembled on the Agriculture Committee to continue our fight for farmers and families in Michigan, Maryland, and across the country.” 

According to census figures on the Maryland Department of Agriculture website, Maryland produced about $2.271 billion in ag products in 2012, placing it 36th among the U.S. states. Poultry and eggs, most of which come from the state’s Eastern Shore, were the biggest contributors, at about $923 million. The Free State’s farmers also produced about $476 million worth of soybeans and $436 million in corn, according to 2012 census figures.

“From our hardworking farmers, to our great Chesapeake Bay, to programs that provide food assistance to families, the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry covers issues that are vital to Maryland’s success,” Van Hollen said in a statement. He said he looks forward to working with Stabenow and with Agriculture Committee Chair Pat Roberts, R-Kan., on key priorities for U.S. families.

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Van Hollen was born in Pakistan to a diplomat father and a mother who worked for the CIA and the State Department. He has an undergraduate degree from Swarthmore College, a master’s from Harvard and a law degree from Georgetown.

In the Senate, Van Hollen is taking the seat being vacated by retiring Barbara Mikulski. He will also be serving on the Appropriations and Budget committees and on the Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs panel.


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